04 Feb FEBRUARY GARDEN GOAL DIGGER
With a few exceptions, February is arguably the coldest month of the year. Even where I live in Zone 8, we can get some pretty shocking cold snaps on occasion, almost cold enough to make me yearn for those beastly August days. Not quite, but almost. Anyway, whether you’re buried beneath feet of snow or enjoying milder temps, February allows us a different, slower-paced kind of gardening that is good for the soul.
FEBRUARY GARDEN GOAL DIGGER
Garden Season Prep Goals
• There’s still time to order your seeds, but hurry! The rarer and harder-to-produce seeds are in high demand and sell out quickly.
• Get your seed-starting supplies together and prep your area so it’s ready for your plant babies. Think of it as your very own baby nursery.
• Continue taking stock of garden, tools, and supplies, and make lists of what’s needed to repair, restock, reorder, and repurpose.
Garden Chore Goals
• Ladies and gentlemen, start your seeds! Always count back from planting dates for your area, and then start your seeds accordingly.
• Start a cold-weather compost pile (yes, it takes longer, but things still decompose). There is something deeply gratifying about being a part of this life cycle even in the dead of winter.
• Prune those roses. For most gardeners and for most roses, winter pruning while plants are dormant is the ideal time. I aim for somewhere around Valentine’s Day, but be sure to check specific guidelines for your Hardiness Zone and for the type of rose you have.
• And prune your trees. Specifically, deciduous trees and those trees and shrubs that bloom in mid-to-late summer. Again, just as with roses, doublecheck more specific recommendations for your growing zone and tree/shrub type.
• Tend your houseplants. Shift them to brighter windows to soak up more natural light, dust off their leaves, avoid overwatering, and give them a little fertilizer (unless you live in a very cold climate, then wait til spring to resume fertilizing). Avoid placing houseplants by heat sources, cold drafts, or icy windows. Repot if necessary, using fresh potting soil.
Garden Chill Goals
• Create a reading nook to enjoy your favorite garden books, magazines, and catalogs. Add a cozy throw and an ottoman to put your feet up, grab your hot cuppa of whatever lights your grill, and your huggie on.
• Have a sudden mild day? Take your reading, meditation, or yoga practice outside for a change of pace, with your winter garden as a backdrop.
• Getting restless? Maybe this quote from Barbara Winkler will help: “Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle…a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”